Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are wasting time and money on social media practices that are not bringing any benefits, a new survey shows.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of SME owners surveyed by consultancy Deal With The Media were 'uncertain', 'disagreed' or 'strongly disagreed' that social media marketing had been effective for their business.

However, the majority of those were 'uncertain' with 43% of all respondents saying they weren't sure whether social media had had a positive or negative effect. Only 30% said it had been good for the business.

25-34 year olds were the most likely to strongly disagree with the effectiveness of social media for business, with the 18-24s its biggest supporters.

At the moment social media isn’t working for the majority of small businesses,” said Deal With The Media founder Pete Walter.

“Most of the UK’s five million SMEs spend between six and ten hours a week marketing themselves via social media, making their businesses feel modern, digital and connected to their customers.

“The unfortunate reality is most of are wasting time and money in doing so. Collectively, all that time spent Tweeting and updating various sites adds up to more than one billion man-hours a year — or the combined workload of more than 520,000 full-time employees.”